Prolonged expansion of human nucleus pulposus cells expressing human telomerase reverse transcriptase mediated by lentiviral vector

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Navy General Hospital, No.6 Fu-cheng Road, Beijing, 100048, PR China.
Journal of Orthopaedic Research (Impact Factor: 2.99). 01/2014; 32(1). DOI: 10.1002/jor.22474
Source: PubMed


Human degenerative disc disease (DDD) is characterized by progressive loss of human nucleus pulposus (HNP) cells and extracellular matrix, in which the massive deposition are secreted by HNP cells. Cell therapy to supplement HNP cells to degenerated discs has been thought to be a promising strategy to treat DDD. However, obtaining a large quality of fully functional HNP cells has been severely hampered by limited proliferation capacity of HNP cells in vitro. Previous studies have used lipofectamine or recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors to deliver human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) into ovine or HNP cells to prolong the activity of nucleus pulposus cells with limited success. Here we developed a lentiviral vector bearing both hTERT and a gene encoding green fluorescence protein (L-hTERT/EGFP). This vector efficiently mediated both hTERT and EGFP into freshly isolated HNP cells. The expressions of both transgenes in L-hTERT/EGFP transduced HNP cells were detected up to day 210 post viral infection, which was twice as long as rAAV vector did. Furthermore, we observed restored telomerase activity, maintained telomere length, delayed cell senescence, and increased cell proliferation rate in those L-hTERT/EGFP transduced HNP cells. Our study suggests that lentiviral vector might be a useful gene delivery vehicle for HNP cell therapy to treat DDD. © 2013 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res XX:XXX-XXX, 2013.

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    ABSTRACT: Cell-based therapies may hold significant promise for the treatment of early stage degeneration of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Given their propensity to proliferate and ability to form multiple tissue types, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been proposed as a potential cell source to promote repair of the nucleus pulposus (NP). However, for any successful cell-based therapy, a carrier biomaterial may be essential for targeted delivery providing key biophysical and biochemical cues to facilitate differentiation of MSCs. Two widely used biomaterials for NP regeneration are chitosan and alginate. The primary objective of this study was to assess the influence of alginate and chitosan hydrogels on bone marrow stem cells (BM) and NP cells in isolation or in coculture. A secondary objective of this study was to investigate coculture seeding density effects of BM and NP cells and simultaneously explore which cell type is responsible for matrix formation in a cocultured environment. Porcine NP and BM cells were encapsulated in alginate and chitosan hydrogels separately at two seeding densities (4x10(6) and 8x10(6) cells/mL) or in coculture (1:1, 8x10(6) cells/mL). Constructs (diameter=5 mm, height=3 mm) were maintained under IVD-like conditions [low-glucose, low (5%) oxygen] with or without transforming growth factor-beta 3 (TGF-beta 3) supplementation for 21 days. Results demonstrated differential viability depending on hydrogel type. NP cells remained viable in both biomaterial types whereas BM viability was diminished in chitosan. Further, hydrogel type was found to regulate sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and collagen accumulation. Specifically, alginate better supports sGAG accumulation and collagen type II deposition for both NP and BM cell types compared with chitosan. Having identified that alginate more readily supports cell viability and matrix accumulation, we further explored additional effects of seeding density ratios (NP:BM-1:1, 1:2) for coculture studies. Interestingly, in coculture conditions, the BM cell population declined in number while NP cells increased, indicating that MSCs may in fact be signaling NP cells to proliferate rather than contributing to matrix formation. These findings provide exciting new insights on the potential of MSCs for NP tissue regeneration strategies.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 09/2014; 21(1-2):140908080119009. DOI:10.1089/ten.tea.2013.0719 · 4.70 Impact Factor

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